Friday, November 13, 2015

Monarch butterfly population may quadruple - Mexico

Temascaltepec, Mexico - Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico could nearly quadruple in number this year, thanks to actions taken by the United States, Mexico and Canada to protect the migratory species, authorities said on Thursday. After years of sharp decline, the three countries agreed at a summit in February 2014 to form a working group to foster the insect's survival. More than a year later, the measures "are having an effect", Mexican Environment Minister Rafael Pacchiano said at a news conference at the Piedra Herrada monarch reserve alongside US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. The falling population has been blamed on illegal logging in their Mexican wintering grounds and the drop in milkweed on which they feed due to the use of pesticides in the United States. Pacchiano said Mexican authorities have launched "important" operations to combat illegal logging while Jewell said the United States is working on replanting milkweed in three million hectares of land and designating pesticide-free areas...more

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